19 December 2009

Weekend Cooking: Caribbean Black Bean Dinner

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Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home by the Moosewood Collective is one of my favorite cookbooks for fast, healthy meals. Most of the recipes can be made in under 30 minutes and each is accompanied by nutritional information and menu ideas. The recipes are generally geared to vegetarians, although there is a short fish chapter.

The book was the winner of the 1995 James Beard Award for Best Vegetarian Cookbook.

Here's a meal from the cookbook that I love to make on cold nights. Perfect for a snowy weekend. All measurements are U.S. standard measures.

Caribbean Black Beans

4 servings
  • 1½ cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4½ cups drained cooked black beans (three 16-ounce cans)
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add the ginger, thyme, and allspice and sauté, stirring often to prevent sticking, until the onions are very soft, for about 5 more minutes. Stir in the beans and orange juice and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens slightly. Watch that the beans don't stick. If desired, mash a few beans with the back of a spoon to thicken the dish. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Spanish Rice

4 servings
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cups cooked rice (preferably brown)
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen corn (optional)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2–3 scallions, finally chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped Spanish olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and black pepper to taste
In a medium skillet, heat the oil and add the rice and corn, stirring well. Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes, until hot. Stir occasionally, and add a bit of water as needed to prevent sticking. Serve hot.

Beth Fish's notes: the original recipe is called Golden Spanish Rice and uses annatto seeds. Because they are not readily available in my area, I leave them out. Sometimes I add turmeric for color.

Mango Salsa

Makes 2½ cups
  • 2 medium ripe mangoes
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of salt
  • ½–1 small fresh chile pepper, minced (or hot pepper sauce to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Peel and chop the mangoes. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients. Let stand for 10 minutes to let the flavors blend. Keeps 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator.

To Plate: Put some rice in a soup bowl, top with black beans and then with the salsa. Enjoy.

Source: Bought (see review policy)


Beth 12/19/09, 7:13 AM  

Thanks for sharing this cookbook! It seems like sometimes vegetarian food can actually take LONGER to make, so I really like the idea of quick vegetarian food. I will have to check this out at the library.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 12/19/09, 8:21 AM  

This is a great twist on a meal that I have been making for awhile. I will have to remember to come looking for this when I next have black beans.

Elizabeth 12/19/09, 8:42 AM  

Yum, this sounds like my kind of meal. I can envision myself trying this in the next few weeks.

caite 12/19/09, 9:07 AM  

oh, I love black beans and I love Spanish rice...super yum. A yes, perfect for a cold snowy day like today..if I just had some beans.

bermudaonion 12/19/09, 10:06 AM  

Sounds delicious, especially the mango salsa.

christina 12/19/09, 10:10 AM  

I cannot wait to try this recipe! Yummy!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 12/19/09, 10:27 AM  

Yum! I can make this without cilantro (sometimes I sub parsley).

I have the original Moosewood, the Low-Fat, and Sundays ... but seem to be missing "at home". Do you use it often?

Beth F 12/19/09, 10:35 AM  

Dawn: I do use this book quite a bit, especially for soups, stews, and bean dishes.

Sherrie 12/19/09, 10:42 AM  

Hi Beth,
Your winter meal sounds delicious. My mom used to make Spanish Rice and I can't for the life of me remember how she done it. I loved that stuff!! Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!

Sherrie's Stuff

Heather 12/19/09, 10:57 AM  

this week I made a wonderful Rhubarb Apple Crisp, recipe is posted.

Margot 12/19/09, 11:10 AM  

All three dishes look terrific. I love bean soups but I have never tried the spices plus orange juice that is in this recipe. I'm curious and am going to have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

Lenore Appelhans 12/19/09, 11:30 AM  

That bean recipe sounds divine. I will have to try it!

Robin M 12/19/09, 12:52 PM  

Oh my gosh. the recipes looks good. Will have to give them a try. I totally forgot about the Moosewood Cookbook. I had bought friends a copy and forgot to buy myself a copy. Adding it to my list right now.

Stephanie 12/19/09, 1:49 PM  

I am in dire need of something interesting to do with all those black beans in my cabinet. Thanks!

Julie P. 12/19/09, 9:13 PM  

When are you having me for dinner?

My kids eat beans and rice (albeit just minute rice and canned black beans) all of the time. Your recipe sounds delicious.

Jill 12/19/09, 10:15 PM  

Another cookbook to add to my list...and I love Spanish Rice. Thanks for hosting this great meme!

She's Cookin' 12/20/09, 10:37 AM  

You certainly had the perfect snowy weekend to try these recipes! I'll have to break out my Moosewood cookbook. Meanwhile I've shared a a slideshow and post about preserving traditions through cooking. Happy holidays and thanks for weekend cooking!

Anonymous,  12/21/09, 2:41 PM  

Sounds yummy!

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